The yield of upper gastrointestinal endoscopy in patients below 60 years and without alarm symptoms presenting with dyspepsia

on behalf of the Trans IT Foundation Study Group

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Background and aims: Upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy is frequently performed in patients with upper abdominal symptoms. Although guidelines recommend withholding an endoscopy in the absence of alarm symptoms, dyspeptic symptoms remain a predominant indication for endoscopy. We aimed to investigate the yield of upper GI endoscopy in patients with low-risk dyspeptic symptoms. Methods: We conducted an analysis in a prospectively maintained endoscopy reporting database. We collected the results of all upper GI endoscopy procedures between 2015 and 2019 that was performed in adult patients aged <60 years with dyspeptic symptoms. Patients with documented alarm symptoms were excluded. We categorized endoscopic findings into major and minor endoscopic findings. Results: We identified 26,440 patients with dyspeptic symptoms who underwent upper GI endoscopy. A total of 13,978 patients were considered low-risk and included for analysis (median age 46 years, interquartile range (IQR) [36–53], 62% female). In 11,353 patients (81.2%), no endoscopic abnormalities were detected. Major endoscopic findings were seen in 513 patients (3.7%) and minor endoscopic findings in 2178 patients (15.6%). Endoscopic findings indicative of upper GI cancer were reported in 47 patients (0.3%), including 16 (0.1%) oesophageal, 28 (0.2%) gastric and 5 (0.04%) duodenal lesions. Despite an initial unremarkable endoscopy result, 1015 of 11,353 patients (8.9%) underwent a follow-up endoscopy after a median of 428 days [IQR 158–819]. This did not lead to the additional identification of malignancy. Conclusions: The yield of upper GI endoscopy in low-risk (<60 years, no alarm symptoms) patients with dyspepsia is very limited. This study further supports a restrictive use of upper GI endoscopy in these patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)740-746
JournalScandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

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